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Warriors head coach Steve Kerr confronted Celtics guard Marcus Smart for two dangerous plays involving Steph Curry and Klay Thompson.
The Celtics defeated the Warriors 110-88, but that’s largely because Steph Curry was reduced to 14 minutes and three points. Curry didn’t get his usual time because Smart dove at his ankles to steal the ball, which caused a sprained ligament injury that will have Curry sidelined indefinitely.
Before that, Smart somehow entangled his ankle with Klay Thompson’s arm as he blocked his shot. It worked, as Thompson’s ball shot out of bounds, but Smart’s use of his limbs became a cause for concern for Warriors coach Steve Kerr.
Kerr was seen speaking with Smart as Smart shook his head, likely stressing that he didn’t intend to hurt anyone. The crowd boos, and although Warriors players don’t think the aggressive plays were intentionally harmful, it still cost the Warriors dearly in losing Curry.
Steve Kerr upset with Marcus Smart over reckless plays affecting Steph Curry, Klay Thompson
According to Toscano-Anderson and Green, the dive for the ball was an aggressive play for possession of the ball that had unintended consequences. While NBA players can be skilled at disguising dirty plays with physical play, Green related honestly to Smart, saying that he’s accidentally kicked players too.
Smart himself spoke about the play that injured Curry after the game, saying that Kerr was “backing up his guy”, which was “understandable.”
“Everybody who knows me knows that I’m not trying to hurt anybody,” Smart said. “I made a play that I make every night, and unfortunately — it’s killing me right now — Steph got hurt.”
Kerr spoke after the game on the dive that injured Curry, elaborating that he thought it was a “dangerous play.”
Kerr added that Smart is a “hell of a player” that he respects, and even though the coach offered terse words about playing carefully, the two embraced after the game as Kerr congratulated Smart.